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Are you on the lookout for some website design inspiration? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Here you will learn about the four main types of professional web design. Some are outdated, some have valuable qualities… and one surpasses the other three by miles.

professional web designTrainee designers and companies looking to boost their web design game, read on to get a crash course in the four layouts you will encounter during your time on the world wide web.

1. Fluid or liquid

Liquid or fluid web design occurs when the size of a page’s layout is specified in percentages instead of pixels. This means that the elements’ proportions won’t be altered when the screen size changes. This is a relatively flexible design, especially when compared with some of the others that will be mentioned below.

2. Fixed

You probably won’t find a fixed web design on many websites these days, and professional website design agencies aren’t very likely to even offer this layout anymore. Essentially, the fixed – or static – design has a fixed width in pixels. The webpage that uses this layout is programmed not to move, so the width (which is mostly commonly 960 pixels) will stay exactly the same no matter the resolution or screen size of a user. However, this design allows you to have full control over how the interface looks.

3. Adaptive

An adaptive web design means that the layout has several versions, which will be displayed depending on the user’s screen size. Essentially this means adaptive design comprises of multiple fixed design options. With this design, the probability that the user will have the experience that the designer intended is high. Adaptive layouts also tend to load quickly.

4. Responsive

Responsive web design is becoming more and more popular and many web design agencies agree that it is the layout that surpasses the other three – in fact, many experts and companies that offer design services would argue that this type of layout is expected by users these days. The consumers of today expect that they will be able to access a webpage via a mobile device and get the same quality of experience as they would if they were viewing the very same page on a desktop computer.

Responsive takes the best of adaptive and fluid. The elements on the screen will shrink or stretch depending on the screen size, and the interface will also change based on the size. In short, this type of layout will provide a custom experience for viewers depending on which screen size they are using, so both desktop and mobile users are more than happy.

“Your website is the centre of your digital ecosystem. Like a brick and mortar location, the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.”

― Leland Dieno, author of Face the Book with Your Small Business

Get some professional web design inspiration

Whether you’re a designer looking to develop your web skills or a business looking to create the perfect website, there are lots of places to start online. A quick Google search will help you find digital marketing agencies, such as web design by Passion Digital, that will do all the work for you. Alternatively if you want to learn how to build a high quality website all by yourself, there is plenty of free content online – such as this article by Lifewire – that will introduce you to the basics of web design.

Now that you know the four basic types of online design (and reactive, the one that trumps all the others), it’s highly recommended that you make sure all of the pages on your site are looking modern. After all, if you want to have or make a designer website you’ve got to possess award-winning web design, whether you acquire the skills yourself or hire a web design company.